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Jonathan Pryce Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (23) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1 June 1947Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, UK
Birth NameJohn Price
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jonathan Pryce was born on June 1, 1947, in Holywell, Wales. His father, named Isaac Price, was a coal miner, who died in 1976. His mother, named Margaret Ellen (nee Williams), was a retail cashier. He left the home of his parents at age 16 to attend an art school, where he became interested in drama. At some point he changed the spelling of his last name from Price to Pryce. He studied acting on a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After graduation from RADA, he joined the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and eventually became its Artistic Director.

In the 1970s Pryce established himself on the London stage with appearances in 'The Taming of the Shrew', 'Hamlet', and 'Measure for Measure' among other plays. He won the 1977 Tony Award for his Broadway debut in 'Comedians', for which he also earned the 1977 Theatre World Award and the 1977 nomination for Drama Desk Outstanding Actor Award. Pryce earned his second Tony Award 15 years later for the role as "The Engineer", a half-Vietnamese/half French pimp in 'Miss Saigon'. Pryce created the role in the original London production and agreed to reprise the role on Broadway in a transplant of the same production. Despite controversy over his appearance -- the actors union decried the long-standing practice of hiring white actors to play Asian or Eurasian characters, especially given the paucity of roles for Asian characters, and it also objected to the producer's refusal to even audition any Asian actors -- he gave a brilliant performance.

In 1976 Pryce made his big screen debut in Voyage of the Damned (1976). But it wasn't until 1983 that he made a strong impression with his scary performance as a freaky manipulative Mr. Dark in Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983). Pryce shot to fame with Brazil (1985) and his role as Sam Lowry, a technocrat trying to correct an error caused by a bug and himself becomes entangled in psychopathic bureaucracy eventually becoming an enemy of the state. He also filled such strong and authoritative roles, as president Juan Peron opposite Madonna in Evita (1996), then co-starred opposite Pierce Brosnan as Elliot Carver, the evil megalomaniac media mogul in the 18th Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

Pryce's versatility and multifaceted talent rarely had a chance to take him beyond playing freaks and villains in film, an imposed forte which he, however, managed to overcome in his numerous stage performances and in a few film and TV works. He went on playing a range of characters marked with sophistication and depth, such as his subtle and nuanced portrayal of author Lytton Strachey in Carrington (1995), for which he won the Best Actor Award at Cannes. Pryce also shone in musicals 'My Fair Lady' and 'Oliver' to name just a few. Pryce made numerous works for television ranging from costume dramas to comedy, and from narrations to singing. In January 2006, he replaced John Lithgow as Lawrence Jameson in the acclaimed musical version of 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'. He appeared as the timid Jamaican Governor Wetherby Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), and the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), and the third installment of the Pirates franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007).

Jonathan Pryce has been with his partner, actress Kate Fahy, since 1974 when they met at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool Company, though they have never married. They have two sons, Patrick (born 1983) and Gabriel (born 1986), and one daughter, Phoebe (born 1990). Pryce and Fahy also co-starred in the 2004 production of 'The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?'. Fahy and Pryce reside with their family in England.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Trivia (23)

Pryce was one of the stars of Dark Blood (2012), along with Judy Davis and River Phoenix, but the movie was never released due to Phoenix's death during filming in 1993.
Originated the role of "The Engineer" in the musical, Miss Saigon.
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1990 (1989 season) for Best Actor in a Musical for Miss Saigon.
He was nominated for a 2002 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Musical of 2001 for his performance in My Fair Lady at the Royal National Theatre: Lyttelton and then later at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Children: Patrick (b. 1983), Gabriel Pryce (b. 1986) and Phoebe Pryce (b. 1990).
Performed in plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the period 1978 to 1987.
Became an Associate Member of RADA.
Alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Was the artistic director of the Liverpool Everyman, during the seventies.
He appeared in most of Nissan's luxury car division in America, Infiniti's television ads in the mid-1990s.
Won two Tony Awards: in 1977 as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for "Comedians," and in 1991 for Best Actor (Musical) for "Miss Saigon."
Pryce was at the center of a racially-charged controversy regarding his role in the mid-1980s musical Miss Saigon. He played "The Engineer," a half-French Caucasian/half-Vietnamese Asian pimp, in the original London cast, but when producer Cameron Mackintosh wanted to transfer the UK cast to the original Broadway opening, the US performers' union Actors' Equity objected on the grounds that Pryce, a Welsh Caucasian, should not have been allowed to play an Asian person. Their arguments against Pryce's casting were that a White person playing an Asian one amounted to minstrelsy, denied already-scarce roles to Asian actors, and was an "affront to the Asian community." In response, Mackintosh canceled the Broadway production (despite having sold advance tickets), so Actor's Equity reversed its decision on a technicality in their bylaws that exempts producers from having to audition domestic actors for a transplanted production if the original star is deemed famous enough. The policies regarding racial casting issues that Actor's Equity set in place in response to this incident still govern Broadway casting as of 2006.
He won a 1980 Laurence Olivier Award for his depiction of Hamlet, a performance made famous by his also playing the role of Hamlet's father's ghost as a regurgitated voice.
Awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Liverpool on 12th December 2006 in recognition of his contribution to the acting arts on stage and screen.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to Drama.
Currently starring as Martin in Edward Albee's controversial play "The Goat or Who is Sylvia?" at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End. [April 2004]
Reprised his role as Zarniwoop (and a new character, Vann Harl) in the new "Quandary Phase" episodes of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" BBC4 radio series, adapted from book 4 of the late Douglas Adams' "Hitch Hiker's Trilogy", "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish". [May 2005]
Currently starring in Broadway's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Norbert Leo Butz.
Camden Town, London, England [June 2009]
Starring as Professor Henry Higgins in Trevor Nunn's production of My Fair Lady, which began at the National Theatre and has since moved to the Drury Lane Theatre in London.
Starring in Broadway's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He is taking over the role of Lawrence Jamison, originally played by John Lithgow. [January 2005]
Started a stint as conman Lawrence Jameson in the hit Broadway Musical "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" playing at the Imperial Theater in NYC [January 2006]
Starring in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker at the Everyman in Liverpool. [October 2009]

Personal Quotes (9)

'I'm not a star, I'm an actor - there's a difference!'
The older you get, the more you find yourself looking for things you used to see and liked when you were younger.
Oddly enough, I'm not religious but I'm also very fond of St Peter's in Rome. When I'm there, I always know there's a good meal not far away.
I'll read a book every now and then, but unlike most of my friends I don't always have one on the go.
I have just enough public appreciation to make me happy.
I grew up in the 1950s at the beginning of rock n' roll, and would strum a tennis racket in front of the mirror.
I live a very ordinary life. The rare awards ceremonies I go to are quite fun, because I can enjoy the irony of one minute walking to the tube, and the next being driven along the same stretch of road in a limo.
I know people whose entire lives are ruined by fame. If you make yourself exclusive, people want to break that down, but if you go about doing your shopping, no one bugs you.
When I left school, I wanted to be an artist, specifically a painter.

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